The Andean mountain range — one of the world’s largest mountain ranges that runs throughout South America — is the inspiration behind Wynwood’s latest eatery, Wayku Restaurant & Bar (73 NW 26th Street). Debuting earlier this week in the buzzy neighborhood, it features an array of dishes inspired by seasonal ingredients of the Americas.
The restaurant is owned by Diego D’Alvia, a restaurateur and owner of Rex – Best Chivito in Town — a successful chain of restaurants in Buenos Aires — and La Morocha, also in Buenos Aires. D’Alvia has tapped chef Matteo Gritti to run the kitchen.
On the menu guests can find traditional Latin American cuisine combined with other flavors found throughout the world. To start, guests will find the raw bar with dishes like the phantom ceviche with vegetable pickles and green gazpacho “De Tigre” that is served on dry ice; alongside items like himachi tiradito with melon and yellow pepper; and spiced tuna tataki. Heartier items include the arancini stuffed with goat cheese and burnt alioli; and the gluten-free pizza fritta with burrata and black truffle.
As for the main courses, Gritti continues the fusion element with dishes like the octopus in the coral reef with eggplant, beetroot and red coral, Wayku’s version of a surf and turf; short rib with mashed peas, ginger and alioli; and the sea bass with brown quinoa tartare, edamame and rainbow sauce that arrives violet and changes colors at the table. Rounding out the menu is the vegetable section with the ode to carrot created with caramelized carrots, carrot hummus, and carrot greens chimichurri; and kanka cauliflower with mango and coconut curry sauce, green oil, and orange confit.
The bar program at Wayku was created by Mona Gallosi, a Buenos Aires based bartender, television, and radio personality. The menu is divided into reinterpreted classics and original cocktails like the La Flor Blanca with vodka, lime, cilantro syrup, and bubbles; the Latin Lover served with aged rum, vermouth bianco, walnut honey and chocolate bitters; and Mrs. Cougar with gin, yellow pepper honey and tonic. Updated classics include the Wayku Caipi with vodka, yuzu, blackberry puree, and pineapple; the Basil Mojito with white rum, basil, and lime juice bitters; and the Cosmo del Amazonas with vodka, passion fruit, and Cointreau.
Wayku Restaurant & Bar is now open for dinner Tuesday to Thursday 4:30 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 4:30 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday 4:30 to 11 p.m. For more information call 786-584-8487.